Christchurch has plenty of variety to offer when it comes to restaurants and food—it is also a good place for wine and coffee lovers.
Brigettes Espresso Bar
Merivale. This café is extremely popular, so you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time. It features a homey interior and an open-air courtyard. The menu includes Eggs Benedict and Florentine, a delicious muesli (granola) blend, pancakes, and corn fritters. The lunch and dinner menus feature a delicious assortment of soups, salads, flatbreads, meats, and seafood.
The Bodhi Tree
Canterbury. This authentic Burmese restaurant stands out with an incredible selection of tasty foods. Try the famous Tea Salad, or go for a plate of fresh fish, squid, or lightly fried tofu. Other dishes include marinated lamb, beef curry, and coconut and chicken soup. No matter what you try here, or how adventurous it sounds, it’s sure to amaze your taste buds.
City Center. This Bangladeshi restaurant features a lunch and dinner menu offering a vast selection of Tandoori and curry dishes, all prepared to taste (mild, medium, or hot). Don’t miss out on their naan (flatbread), which is a popular staple in Bangladesh.
The Honey Pot Café
Inner City. This funky café offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials and closes early on Sundays and Mondays. Choose the French toast or pancakes with cinnamon butter for breakfast, try a gourmet open sandwich for lunch, or for dinner, pick from a fabulous selection of pizza and meat dishes. There’s something here to satisfy every food craving.
Cook’n With Gas
Inner City. This fun restaurant is only open in the evenings, with the exception of an attached lounge that opens around noon and offers casual food. It’s best to make reservations if you’re looking to dine in the evening, since Cook’n With Gas is popular among locals and foodies. It features dishes such as the “Gas Grill,” which comes with beef fillet and lamb cutlets served medium rare with bacon, potatoes, and an assortment of veggies. For dessert, try the Chocolate Lover’s mousse. Good to note, this restaurant takes its time with its food, so be prepared to sit for a while and enjoy a fabulous and leisurely meal.
The Coffee House
City Center. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on most days, The Coffee House has a delicious breakfast menu, featuring scrambled eggs, pancakes, “Bubble & Squeak,” which consists of crispy potato cubes, bacon, and poached eggs, and more. For lunch there is a char-grilled chicken and bacon open-faced sandwich, a wild venison and beer burger, and when dinner comes around, choose a braised lamb shank, fresh fish catch-of-the-day, or a char-grilled steak dish. And better yet, there’s always freshly roasted coffee and pastries of all kinds available.
Drexel’s Breakfast Restaurant
City Center. A well-known icon in Christchurch, Drexel’s boasts an impeccable breakfast-and-lunch-only menu. The hash browns are a must, and you can take your pick from waffles, pancakes, omelettes, breakfast burritos, crepes, burgers, salads, and so much more. You’ll even find plenty of gluten-free items on the menu.
As for the bar/club scene, there are plenty of options. The Strip, located along Oxford Terrace, is a well-known nightlife scene that gets hopping after midnight. Also try the south Lichfield area, which features a number of themed bars, and is also a great place to ring in the New Year. From sports bars to jazz bars and everything in between, you’ll find plenty all across the city.
And if you’re out at night simply exploring, make sure to check out Cathedral Square, which is lit up and is a fun place to just hang out, if that’s what you’re in the mood for…plus, there’s even a Starbucks, with many souvenir shops, food stalls, and restaurants nearby.